Rotherham United: No place for emotion as players prepare for new boss

Richard Wood
Richard Wood
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Defender Richard Wood has revealed the hard-bitten way players react to a manager’s departure as Rotherham United’s hunt for a successor to Neil Warnock intensifies.

The Millers are holding interviews after the man who led them to Championship safety bade farewell last week, with Gary Bowyer, Stuart Gray and Alan Stubbs among the main contenders.

Centre-half Wood, who played a vital part in the 11-match unbeaten run which secured the club’s place in the second tier, says there is no room for sentiment when a boss’s time is up.

Like most members of the survival team, the 31-year-old was keen for Warnock to stay, but he said: “You move on. We had three managers this season. The lads have to adapt and you just get on with it.

“Players adapt better than anyone. It happens that often.”

Wood spent more than 18 months out of the picture under Steve Evans and then Neil Redfearn, but was brought straight into the side by Warnock who was lured to AESSEAL New York Stadium in February by chairman Tony Stewart on a short-term mission to keep the Millers up.

Gary Bowyer

Gary Bowyer

“I’ve been at a few different clubs and been through a few managers,” the player added. “I went out on loan twice this season (Fleetwood and Chesterfield) and at both clubs the manager got sacked. You just have to adapt quickly.

“You just get on with it. You have to be professional. ‘Professional’ is the word.”

Another possible candidate for the Rotherham hot-seat is bookmakers’ favourite Tony Mowbray, while there was contact between the Millers and former England and Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren soon after Warnock’s May 18 exit. At least one other manager is also thought to be in the running.

Stewart is prepared to take his time and an announcement may not be made until next week. It is believed interviews were held yesterday and that more are planned today,

In the past, Rotherham have narrowed down their search with an initial round of talks and then made their final choice after follow-up meetings.

Wood, who is in discussions with the club over a fresh deal, says the arrival of a new man could offer some players the kind of opportunity he was handed by Warnock.

“Obviously, certain players like certain managers and get on better,” he said. “Then, there’s half of the lads for whom it works in their favour if a new manager comes in. That happened with me.

“I was out of favour with two managers at Rotherham, then Neil came in, put me straight in and it worked well for me.”

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